Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My First Turkey


Thanks for the post, Arthur Lawrence

I was surfing the web using my wireless internet New Haven connection to try and figure out how in the world to cook a turkey. This Thanksgiving was the first one that my husband and I would not be with our family. We moved two thousand miles away from home for his residency and he does not get the Thanksgiving holiday off. So, that meant that I would be cooking the Thanksgiving meal. I bought a twelve pound turkey and started to thaw it as directed. I found a recipe on-line for a brined and roasted turkey. To brine the turkey, I had to submerge it in a cooler for twenty-four hours in a solution of water, salt, and brown sugar. When it was time to cook the turkey, I put it in a browning bag and set it in a roasting pan. I cooked the turkey for two and a half hours. After I pulled the turkey out, I basted it with the juice that had accumulated. I was actually really impressed! It turned out great! Our first Thanksgiving alone was a success!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beef Stew

The weather has gotten colder outside so it is time for some warming, comfort food.  Beef stew is an amazingly good dish that unfortunately has fallen out of popularity. This may be because people have had so many bad beef stews with overcook meat and vegetables. A good stew will have a thick savory broth and tender beef. The vegetables should still have a little fight left in them and should not be completely mushy.

This recipe is great because it is quick and has great results. You cook the stew in the oven which results in very even cooking. It works best in a Dutch oven. I used my beloved dutch oven and couldn’t be happier. It evenly browned all the meat without scorching a thing.

Hearty Beef Stew

From: The New Best Recipes
  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast
    trimmed and cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions
    chopped coarse, ~ 2 cups
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
    minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 3 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup full-bodied dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 4 medium red potatoes ~ 1 1/2 lbs
    peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 large carrots ~ 1 lb
    peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 cup frozen peas ~ 6 ounces
  • 8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle heat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the bee thoroughly with paper towels, then season it generously with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the meat so that the individual pieces are close together but not touching. Cook, not moving the pieces until the sides touching the pot are well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs turn each piece, and continue cooking until most sides are well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the beef to a medium bowl, add another 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pot, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Brown the remaining beef; transfer the meat to the bowl and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the now empty Dutch oven, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently and vigorously, scraping the pot bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits, until the onions have softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, scraping up the remaining browned bits from the bottom and edges of the pot and stirring until the liquid is thick. Gradually add the broth, stirring constantly and scraping the pan edges to dissolve the flour. Add the bay leaves and thyme and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and return to a simmer. Cover and place the pot in the oven. Cook for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots. Cover and return the pot to the oven. Cook until the meat is just tender, about 1 hour. Remove the pot from the oven. (The stew can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.)
  4. Add the peas and mushrooms, cover, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, discard the bay leaves, adjust the seasonings, and serve immediately.
This was a delicious, warm, comforting meal that hit the spot of flavor!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mashed Potatoes - Crazy Cooking Challenge

PhotobucketHoliday Mashed Potato Recipe

from the blog The Cooking Blog

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, add butter, and mash using a potato masher, ricer or mixer. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. Serve hot!

I add some cheese, parsley, and sour cream to my taters cause that's how I roll!